James Smith has announced he is running for Governor of South Carolina. He will hold an event in mid-October to officially kick off his campaign.

“All of my life I have felt the call to service. It was in that spirit, after 9/11, I resigned my commission as a JAG officer, enlisted in the Infantry and deployed to Afghanistan to fight for our country and protect our way of life. I came home a different man and believed I could do more.

“And that’s why now – after a lot of thought, consultation, discussions with my family, and prayer – I’ve decided to run for Governor.

“I see the potential of our state. I see what we can be. But I also see what’s getting in the way. I am running for Governor because I feel like I must do all that I can to fight for the people of South Carolina. I am running because I want South Carolina to realize her fullest potential and to do that I know that means no one gets left behind.”

The kick off event will be held in Columbia. The details of the event will be announced in the coming days. For more information, please visit JamesSmith.com.

Smith was born and raised in Columbia. He is married to Kirkland (Thomas) of Mount Pleasant. They are parents of Emerson, Thomas, Paul, and Shannon. They attend church at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, the church where he grew up.

Smith is currently a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, a Major in the South Carolina Army National Guard, a small business owner, and a practicing attorney in Columbia. His entire life has been dedicated to service to others in his community, state, and nation.

Smith served eight years as a JAG officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard when a 2001 visit to Ground Zero in New York stirred something inside of him. It motivated him to resign his Officer Commission so that he could enlist as an infantryman, and, at age 37, begin basic training.

In February of 2007, Smith deployed as an infantry officer as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as a Combat Advisor to Afghan Security Forces operating in remote areas in southern Afghanistan. He was decorated for his service with the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

In the SC General Assembly, he has been an advocate for a variety of issues facing veterans and active military. He has been a leader for public education and governmental and ethics reform; fought for increased jobs and economic development across the state; provided protections for the environment, healthcare and the arts.